Tigris opening date announced!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So we now have an opening date for Tigris – the newest coaster opening at Busch Gardens Tampa…

19th April

That’s right, Tigris is opening in two weeks time!! If you’ve been living under a rock here’s everything you need to know about Busch Gardens new triple launch coaster..

Tigris is Florida’s tallest launch coaster and will catapult riders through an exhilarating array of looping twists with forward and backward motion, breath-taking drops, a 150-foot skyward surge, and an inverted heartline roll, reaching a top speed of more than 60 miles per hour. Tigris will race riders along more than 1,800 feet of steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s largest and most powerful cat –the tiger.

Tigris joins a top-rated list of favourites for coaster enthusiasts, including Cheetah Hunt, the park’s longest coaster, SheiKra, a 200-foot tall floorless dive coaster, Falcon’s Fury, a 335-foot freestanding drop tower, Montu, an inverted coaster, Kumba, and Cobra’s Curse, to name a few.

Who can’t wait to ride this beast?! (hint.. MEEE!!)

Busch Gardens is one of my favourite parks as well as the AMAZING coasters Busch Gardens offers 300 acres of fascinating attractions based on exotic explorations around the world. Busch Gardens is a unique blend of thrilling rides, one of the country’s premier zoos with thousands of animals representing more than 200 species, and live shows and events. If you’re thinking about visiting this ultimate thrill seeker park you’d be best of with either a 3 park SeaWorld ticket or Discovery Cove Ultimate package both include free parking and if you don’t have a car then no need to worry they also include a free shuttle to and from Busch Gardens!

Smiles included,

Abby

Busch Gardens announces a 10th Roller Coaster!!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So Busch Gardens have announced what we can expect from the re-vamp on what used to be the beloved Gwazi.

It’s going to be a Hybrid coaster which means it will be made from a mix of both wood and steel.

This new coaster opening in 2020 is going to be North America’s tallest hybrid, and the fastest, steepest hybrid coaster in the world!

Stewart Clark who is president of Budch Gardens Tampa Bay said “We’re moving quickly to open our ninth rollercoaster, Tigris, with a tenth coaster already underway for next year, This cadence of back-to-back new attractions is unprecedented for our park, and continues our legacy as Florida’s thrill ride leader.”

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It is going to be manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction and will be a wood and steel hybrid coaster design, featuring a maximum height of more than 200 feet tall. The ride will feature all-new thrill elements, as well as restored elements of Gwazi. Coaster enthusiasts can follow the progress of Tigris and the new 2020 attraction through the park’s social media channels.

The above image isn’t from Busch Gardens, it is an image of what is thought the new coaster will look like. However taking into consideration that Busch Gardens have said there will be restored elements of Gwazi and a 200ft max height it could be accurate (depending on how many elements of Gwazi they’re keeping!)

Either way this coaster looks like a thrill seekers DREAM! I for one cannot wait to ride it next year!!

The coaster is yet to be named and of course it’s still a little early to know an opening date but as soon as we find out anymore information we’ll update you!

Abby

Tigris Trains are now on the Track!

Hey Thrill Seekers!

It looks like Tigris is going to be opening veryyyyyy soon! eek!! With a ‘spring’ opening date confirmed we could be seeing it opening next month! (I believe Spring in the US starts towards the end of March)

Busch Gardens have shared a couple of photos of the trains.. have a look for yourself..

An innovative experience, Tigris will catapult riders through an exhilarating array of looping twists with forward and backward motion, breath-taking drops, a 150-foot skyward surge, and an inverted heartline roll, all at more than 60 miles per hour. Tigris will race riders along more than 1,800 feet of steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s largest and most powerful cat –the tiger.

We’re super excited for Tigris to open as we really love a coaster here at OAT!

Stay tuned for an opening date!

Smiles Included,

Abby

Busch Gardens 60th Anniversary celebrations

Hey Thrill Seekers!

This year marks 60 years of one of our favourite parks here at OAT and they’re welcoming YOU to Celebrate Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s 60th Anniversary with #YearOfBeer and 52 weeks of events in 2019!

Lets see what they have in store..

7th January – 16th March – Real Music Real Masters
Watch and listen to incredible music spanning from the 1950s to today, plus all-new entertainment like “Ballroom with a Twist”! Grab a seat in the climate-controlled Stanleyville Theater and see these memorable acts live..

7th-12th Jan – Cirque Vertigo featuring the Wallenda duo
14th – 19th Jan – Arrival from Sweden: The Music of ABBA
21st – 26th Jan – Thomas Mcclary: The Commodores Experience
28th – 2nd Feb – Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
4th – 9th Feb – The Diamonds
11th – 16th Feb – Ballroom with a twist
18th – 23rd Feb – The 5th Dimension
25th Feb – 2nd March – Eaglemania: The worlds greatest eagles tribute band
4th – 9th March – Lorrie Morgan
11th – 16th March – Cirque Vertigo featuring the wallenda duo
Show times are at 11:30am and 1:30pm

29th January – conservation connections
If your visiting Busch Gardens next Tues then make sure you head on over to the Gwazi Pavilion at 2pm to see the presentation on Polar Bear Conservation carried out by Dr. Maria Spriggs.

2nd – 10th February – Sesame Street Pirate Party Weekends
During weekends between the 2nd and 10th of Feb at 11:30am – 4pm guests can join Elmo and friends for a fun pirate celebration! The celebrations will feature:

  • Pirate character dance parties with your favorite Sesame Street friends
  • Themed story times
  • A treasure scavenger hunt with beads
  • Exclusive photo opportunities
  • Color your own pirate bandana and more!

16th March – 28th April – Food and Wine Festival
This year marks the 5th annual Food and Wine festival, featuring signature dishes along with exciting new cuisine, including all-new dishes plus a large selection of wines, craft brews and cocktails. No further information such as performers has been released yet but we will keep you updated!

4th – 19th May – Sesame Street Kids Weekends
Join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and all of your favourite Sesame Street friends for fun-filled weekends May 5- May 20.

You’re invited to a celebration of friendship and fun during Sesame Street Kids’ Weekends at Busch Gardens. With hands-on activities and a chance to be up close with Busch Gardens’ animal ambassadors, families can enjoy character parades and dance parties included in their daily admission.

11th – 12th May – Guy Harvey Weekend
Join Guy Harvey in person May 11 & 12, at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay for meet-and-greets, autographs & more at select times in Xcursions.

18th – 19th May – Jack Hanna Weekend
Join “Jungle Jack” Hanna for a weekend of wild animal shows, autograph signings and special meet-and-greets when he visits Busch Gardens. The internationally-known animal expert will share animal facts and his travel tales during animal shows.

31st May – 11th Aug – Summer Nights
Experience endless energy and thrilling rides from day into night at Summer Nights.
As the sun goes down, the party heats up at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay during Summer Nights. Explore the park after dark with extended park hours every night. Dance the night away at themed party zones throughout the park and take on Florida’s top thrill rides in the dark.  

4th July – Independence day fireworks
Families can celebrate the red, white and blue with a night of thrill rides, live entertainment, and incredible extended fireworks show at Busch Gardens. The whole family can experience Florida’s top thrill rides or by dancing into the night at one of the DJ party zones. Finish the day with an electrifying, extended fireworks show that will illuminate the sky with an all-new patriotic medley in honour of Independence Day!

17th August – 8th September – Bier Fest
On weekends from Aug. 17 – Sept. 8, explore beers from around the world at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Bier Fest.
This festival blends the local Tampa bay craft scene with time-honoured traditions to create a unique food and beer celebration. Enjoy live entertainment and contemporary fare that pays homage to a traditional Oktoberfest with a modern spin.

Fall 2019 – Howl ‘o’ Scream
Take on terrifying haunted houses & roaming hordes.
For select nights in the fall, there is nowhere to hide at Howl-O-Scream. Designed to terrify, Busch Gardens’ haunted houses will return with a vengeance, but the scares don’t stop there. Unspeakable horror lives in every dark corner, including on Busch Gardens’ pulse-pounding thrill rides. Howl-O-Scream is bringing fear to the next level and once you’re in there’s nothing to fear but everything.
Howl-O-Scream is a separately ticketed event.

5th – 27th October – Sesame Street Kids Weekends
On Saturdays & Sundays celebrate Halloween with Elmo, Abby, Grover and all your favourite Sesame Street friends every Saturday and Sunday in October during Sesame Street Safari of Fun Kids’ Weekends. Show off your family costumes during each themed weekend while you trick-or-treat, enjoy exclusive crafts, explore through a hay bale maze and play fall-inspired activities and games in our festival field area. Then, join your favourite Sesame Street friends during a character dance party!

So there we have it.. If you’re visiting Busch Gardens this year you’re almost guaranteed to be able to take part in one of the above!!

Smile included,

Abby

Tigris track update!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

I’m super eager for Tigris to open in Spring next year and Busch Gardens Tampa have shared some exciting photos of the first parts of the track 😍 lets have a look..

***UPDATE*** 16/01/2019
Busch Gardens have released some new, very arty photos to show how the track is really beginning to take place, check them out…

The below photos were released on the 4th December.

A few days ago they shared images of the track arriving and as you can see the colour orange is dominant throughout – as expected 🙈

Even the containers were orange!

These are the first track pieces of Tigris to be installed 👍

It was only September when Tigris was announced and parts of the track have already arrived at the site!

Seeing the bright orange track has got us a whole new level of excited for Florida’s tallest launch coaster. Tigris will catapult riders through an exhilarating array of looping twists with forward and backward motion, breath-taking drops, a 150-foot skyward surge, and an inverted heartline roll, all at more than 60 miles per hour. Tigris will race riders along more than 1,800 feet of steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s largest and most powerful cat –the tiger.

I can’t wait to see more updates and see the track really start to take place! 😍

Smiles Included,

Abby

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Every single night from the 17th November to the 31st December you can celebrate the holiday season at Busch Gardens with Santa, Rudolph and more!

Each night, enjoy millions of twinkling lights and visits to Santa’s House presented by Coca-Cola®. Plus, beloved characters from the television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” return for some festive fun. Enjoy Yuletide shows, delicious holiday treats, your favourite thrill coasters in the dark. Christmas Town is included with admission.

CHRISTMAS TOWN VILLAGE

Inside Christmas Town Village, shop for the perfect gifts, enjoy Yuletide carols and marvel at model trains that encircle a miniature Christmas city.

SHOWS & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Busch Gardens beams with twinkling lights and yuletide shows during Christmas Town! Enjoy world-class ice skaters, melodious tunes, and even your favorite Sesame Street characters at one of our many shows!

This year enjoy a delightful new show featuring contemporary music that celebrates the traditions of Christmas. It is called ‘Christmas Is…’ and is located inside Dragon Fire Grill.

This new show joins a great line up of returning favourite shows;

Christmas from the Heart – Rejoice in the glory of the season in Christmas from the Heart, the contemporary Christian gospel celebration located inside the Stanleyville Theater.

Carol of the Bells – Busch Gardens’ Serengeti Overlook Restaurant sets the stage for Carol of the Bells, featuring tens of thousands of Christmas lights choreographed to seasonal music.

Christmas On Ice – The creators of the award-winning Turn It Up! capture the holiday spirit as world-class skaters celebrate the many wonders of Christmas in the family favorite show, Christmas on Ice.

Three Kings Journey – Located in the Bird Gardens, the Three Kings Journey Show unites magical voices in perfect harmony, unfolding the famed journey to the humble town of Bethlehem.

Elmo’s Christmas Wish – Visit Sesame Street Safari of Fun to join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Zoe, Rosita and Grover as they learn the meaning of Christmas in Elmo’s Christmas Wish.

Christmas Town Band – The Christmas Town Band brings a classic Christmas to life with a jazz-inspired twist. Set on the Zagora Patio, this band embodies the true merriment of the season.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

NEW! Congo-Stanleyville Walkway – Journey through our awe-inspiring light tunnel connecting the Congo and Stanleyville areas; this breathtaking pathway is the perfect place for this year’s holiday photo.

Stanleyville – Immerse yourself in the lavender glow of Christmas lights and the splendor of Christmas from the Heart.

Morocco – Family and friends will cozy up to brave the chill in the air along the Morocco pathway. The frozen sights sparkle and shimmers in the night as a live angel sculpture welcomes guests, and brilliant white garland wraps the front of the Moroccan Palace; home to the Christmas on Ice show.

Cheetah Walkway and Plaza  Larger-than-life nutcrackers, exotic decorations and intricate animal patterns create the kind of Christmas found only in nature! Cheetah Hunt® walkway welcomes guests to Florida’s only triple-launch coaster and the iconic Serengeti Overlook Restaurant and Pub, featuring special holiday fare and the Carol of the Bells light show.

Flamingo Way – When it’s warm in December and there’s more sand than snow, celebrate a Floridian Christmas with a touch of the tropics in the Flamingo Way. Guests will be tickled pink as they encounter decorated palm trees and a flock of festive flamingos created from thousands of twinkling pink lights.

Bird Gardens – This poinsettia parkway blooms with hundreds of traditional holiday flowers. Make a family memory with breathtaking pictures in front of an enormous tree made entirely of beautiful red poinsettias, or meet the enchanting Poinsettia Princess for the ultimate family photo opportunity.

MEET & GREETS

Rudolphs Winter Wonderland – Experience the world of Rudolph come to life. Meet and take photos with Rudolph and friends, joined this year by Sam the Snowman, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster.

Santa’s House Presented by Coca-Cola – Step into Santa’s house to share your Christmas wish and take holiday photos with Santa Claus and his team of hardworking elves.

NEW: Brunch With Santa – Enjoy a brunch buffet featuring a photo opportunity with Santa Claus and a selection of seasonal offerings! Brunch is served between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays during Christmas Town. Guests make their way to the Serengeti Overlook Restaurant at their leisure during this open-seating experience. Enhance your experience with the options of endless mimosas or a Bloody Mary bar.

Busch Gardens is one of my fave parks anyway but Christmas at Busch Gardens looks even more awesome! Check out the opening times;

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

What can we expect from the SeaWorld parks in the next couple of years?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Lets take a look at all of the confirmed and rumoured attractions coming to the SeaWorld parks (SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens) in the next few years!

What? Infinity Falls Where? SeaWorld When? 2018

This was supposed to open in summer this year however we are still patiently awaiting the chance to be able to ride this awesome raft attraction! It’s going to feature the worlds tallest river rapid drop of 40ft!

What? Tigris Where? Busch Gardens Tampa When? 2019

We cannot wait for this new coaster!  It’s going to be Florida’s tallest launch coaster and will feature a TRIPLE LAUNCH with both forward and backward motions.

What? Sesame Street Land Where? SeaWorld When? 2019

Sesame Street is set to transport  guests into the colourful and creative world of Sesame Street through immersive theming, character interactions and interactive play.

What? new coaster Where? SeaWorld When? 2020 (rumour)

There are lots of rumours flying around that SeaWorld’s next big attraction is going to be a coaster (first once since Mako which opened in 2016) the coaster is rumoured to be similar to Wave Breaker Coaster at San Antonios SeaWorld! If this one is true then i’m all for it!

What? Gwazi revamp Where? Busch Gardens Tampa When? 2020

When Busch Gardens announced Tigris the other day they also let slip a little secret which is that Gwazi is going to be revamped into a ride that will make you want to ‘hold on to your seats’ Yippeeee!

What? water coaster Where? Aquatica When? 2020

Water Country USA Williamsburg is building a brand new water coaster for 2019 called Cutback. Behind The Thrills have said that the slide is said to be making it’s way to Orlando, with a much tighter and quicker footprint. Instead of huge sprawling track, it will double on itself and be located in between the two wave pools. :O

SeaWorld really know how to bounce back don’t they! I hope the rumours are true too!

Smiles Included,

Abby

NEW Ride coming to Busch Gardens in Spring 2019!!

Hey Thrill Seekers,

YES, DOUBLE YES AND YES AGAIN! Busch Gardens Tampa have announced a brand, spanking new coaster coming to their park in the spring of 2019 (which now can’t come quick enough!) We love coasters here at OAT and Busch Gardens is one of our fave parks so this is just fabulous news all around.

Get ready to take on Tigris.. It will be Florida’s tallest launch coaster and will feature a TRIPLE LAUNCH with both forward and backward motions. You will be catapulted through twists and drops, a 150ft skyward surge and not to mention a heartline roll! (think barrel rolls) Oh yeah.. did i forget to say that you’ll be experiencing all of this at over 60mph!

Riders on Tigris will travel more than 1,800 feet as they race along steel track designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the world’s most powerful cat – the tiger.

Complete with orange track and black framework we can see the layout of the track in some images below:

I not only love the fact we are getting yet another coaster but I love the theme. If you’ve been to Busch Gardens you will know that lots of their coasters are based on animals (think Falcons Fury, Cheetah Hunt and Cobras Curse) and I think a tiger themed coaster is a perfect addition.

Due to this image we think it is going to be a bit like Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg where riders start off by launching straight up and then rolling backwards through the loading area to then be launched forward again.. Take a look for yourself:

Pretty coooool huh?

Above is an image of the heartline roll – it looks as though you’ll be ‘rolling’ all the way up, along and then back down!

Here’s a concept of the ride cars complete with tiger stripes. In the above images it looks as though there is going to be 3 cars of 6 seats on each train meaning 18 riders will be able to ride each train.

Where do we think the new coaster is going to go?

Well we reckon one of those 3 places.. 1 & 2 obviously because there is space there and 3 because that water ride has been closed since 2016 ‍♀️ Where do you think it will go?

Either way we are super excited for Tigris to open!

UPDATE:

Smiles included,

Abby

 

Abby’s Pre-Orlando Adventure

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Its nearly time…….

If you watch our bi-weekly Facebook Lives you’re bound to know that i’m due to go on a ‘Super Fam’ trip and in particular, how excited I am about it! Well it’s time and i’m finally leaving tomorrow to embark on what is sure to be the best trip EVER.

If you follow our Facebook or Instagram accounts you’ll be seeing loads of videos and photos from yours truly over the next week including all things Disney, Universal and SeaWorld. Before I start packing (yes I know I’ve left it very last minute) I thought I would give you guys a run-down of what my trip is going to involve.

Soooo.. I arrive in Orlando at 5pm -ish on Sunday and by 9.30pm i’ll be at Universals Halloween Horror Nights!! Nothing like throwing us in at the deep end aye?! I’m absolutely terrified but also mega, mega excited for this (I do feel sorry for the people who are going to have to keep picking me up off the floor in the houses though) The house i’m most excited for is SAW: The Games of Jigsaw, SAW hasn’t featured at HHN for 8 years now and i’m pretty eager to see what’s going to be involved this time around.

For the first few days i’m going to be staying at Universals Cabana Bay Beach Resort which I’ve heard is very nice indeed. 😛 On my first full day i’ll be visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Diagon Alley, Hogsmede Village and Universal Studios. I’m absolutely buzzing to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – I’ve heard so many amazing things about it and I just can’t wait to see it all for myself and i’m especially excited for  Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™.

On to the next day.. On this day I will be visiting Volcano Bay in the morning and Universals Islands of Adventure in the afternoon, woooo!!! I can’t wait to ride Krakatau™ Aqua Coaster and teeny bit scared to do Ko’okiri Body Plunge™ I feel like this is going to be a fantastic morning and I can’t wait to get loads of snaps of the Volcano! For Islands of Adventure I’ve been warned not to wear white tops or any denim and this is because i’m bound to get ABSOLUTELY SOAKED on the water rides.. Hopefully it’s a warm day (oh I forgot to mention, the weather forecast for next week is BEAUTIFUL.) Oh i’m also very eager to ride The Incredible Hulk Coaster We have a surprise evening with Universal on this day and i’m super excited to see what this is going to be, of course, i’ll keep you updated!

Day 4 is the day i’m most excited about… anyone who knows me will understand why. Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to swim with a dolphin and now i’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to do it YAY!!! If you haven’t guessed already, i’ll be visiting Discovery Cove in the morning. I’m not going to lie there will probably be some tears buy hey, who cares it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity! After Discovery Cove i’ll be travelling over to Busch Gardens where I cannot wait to ride all the big coasters and ALL of the pressure is on me to ride Falcons Fury.. i’ve got this!

On day 5 i’ll be visiting SeaWorld in the Morning , Aquatica in the afternoon and back to SeaWorld for the evening! 😉 Very excited to ride Manta and Mako at SeaWorld as everyone in the offices always raves about how good they are. Especially excited to be lucky enough to ride them in the dark also! Psyching myself up for Ihu’s breakaway falls at Aquatica!

I’ll be staying over night at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, ready for day 6.. On day 6 i’ll be visiting EPCOT in the morning and Animal Kingdom in the afternoon. Can’t wait to visit all of the different countries at EPCOT and i’m so buzzing for Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom, the reviews i’ve read about Avatar – Flight of Passage have all been great so I cannot wait to experience it for myself too.

On the 7th Day i’ll be off to Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, I am really looking forward to seeing Cinderella’s Castle, meeting all of the characters and getting to experience the iconic rides and attractions such as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I also hope I get to watch Happily Ever After, could possibly shed a tear or two here as well!

On my last day I get to go SHOPPING at the Orlando International Premium Outlets and the Florida Mall, I’ve got all my pennies saved up for this I’m just hoping i’ll have enough room in my suitcase!! After that it’s home time 🙁 🙁

Only 1 more sleep to go and i’ll finally be off!! If you would like to follow my action packed week make sure you keep checking our Facebook and Instagram as i’ll be trying to post as much and as often as possible.

See you all soon!!

Smiles Included,

Abby

 

Merlin confirm they would be interested in purchasing Busch Gardens Tampa

Hey Thrill Seekers,

We discussed recently the rumour that SeaWorld were looking to bring in outside financial advisors to help with either a sale or a reorganisation of its assets.

Well one such asset which might be available is Busch Gardens. Busch Gardens Tampa situated approx. an hour away from the thrills of Orlando is extremely popular with UK visitors and blends a mixture of animal attractions plus massive thrill rides. Its also one of our personal favourite parks.

If the park was to be made available for purchase one of the first companies to be interest would be Merlin, owners of LEGOLAND Florida.

First reported on the excellent Skift  travel news website and speaking after the company’s first-half results, Merlin chief financial officer Anne-Francoise Nesmes said;

It takes two parties to do a deal so we do not know what SeaWorld’s intentions are but we do believe that those assets [Busch Gardens] are interesting and we could certainly do a lot with them particularly around accommodation, so to us it’s about having the right discussion with a willing partner and making sure we have the right financial return

Obviously this is purely speculation and of course Merlin would be interested in picking up Busch Gardens, I’m sure they wont be the only ones. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are due to release their second quarter results next week and they could perhaps hold the key to what the future holds for Busch Gardens. At the moment we hear they’re interested in opening an on-site hotel and altering an existing ride into an indoors dark ride.

We’ll keep you updated.

Smiles included…

Jamie